M. K. Davis: Bigfoot Has Ponytail

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 18th, 2008

Bigfooter Henry May, who attended Don Keating’s Ohio Bigfoot conference on Saturday, May 17th, summarized what various speakers said there.

Below is what May relates as being the core of M. K. Davis’ presentation. This excerpt is part of the summary on the Davis talk that exists within a larger Bigfoot blog entry containing overviews of all the presentations. It is presented here, per fair use, for inquiring commentary.


M.K. Davis

M.K…..began by showing a panoramic view of the [Patterson-Gimlin] film, and moved on to an artifact which appeared to be a braid which shakes with the head. He says he is an observer, not an analyst, and he observes bangs and a topknot and ponytail on Patty which blows in the wind and indicates no sagittal crest. He also shows the back muscles evident as well as a comment about someone who thought the breasts were air sacs.

M.K. also shows filtered images of the breasts which appear to show nipples. A writing on the film says American Bigfoot, which meant the copy used on National Geographic’s Bigfoot special was a one-inch tape scan of the original, which they obtained from American National Enterprises.

M.K. also showed the teeth pretty clearly and compared that shot to one David Hancock has, and the one Hancock has is massed over, almost deliberately, as is a shot showing a good deal of skin detail.

The Hernia is also discussed, the one on her right leg as she steps down in Frame 352 and found to have a large concentric circle in it which could be a bullethole. It turns out there were also two other researchers in the area that day.

M.K. revealed that Patterson was actually filming from the hole with the red water in it, and this is why you sometimes see in the opening frames where Patty appears to be higher up. M.K. stated that Patterson did not have to die in vain, and that he is attempting to find closure and announced that it is over for him. He closed with a music video tribute to Patterson.

The link for what May wrote and more on other speakers can be found here.

May’s overview has caused blogsquatcher to observe:

Sounds like the usual fare, and it doesn’t seem as if M.K. Davis said anything to resolve the questions about his research that were supposed to prove the creature was human.

Meanwhile, others, apparently, like “Bucksquatch” seemed unaware of the entire affair, and stepped out on the Davis presentation before it even happened, as he noted here.

Does anyone who was there have any insights, one way or the other?

If Davis is done, what of the proof of what was earlier said in 2006?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

23 Responses to “M. K. Davis: Bigfoot Has Ponytail”

  1. Artist responds:

    And NOW…

  2. DWA responds:

    MY ten-year journey to clear Roger Patterson’s name has yielded the following finding:

    MK Davis was created (on the seventh day, when God was clearly nodding off and not paying attention) to muddy the waters, and he is performing to order.

    Who IS this guy? (Roger Knights, since you seem to know?)

    Great. He stabilized the film, which may allow it to attract the attention of enough future scientists that one of them can command the $$$$ and time (same thing) to confirm the sasquatch.

    If MK hasn’t gotten his own work laughed off the stage long before then.

    Sheesh. This makes Johor look like, well, real science.

    A music video tribute to Patterson. Sounds like confirmation to me. What did he use, “Wind Beneath My Bu…Sorry, Wings”?

  3. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    it sounds like MK Davis had a deal in place two years ago, the deal fell through, and now that there’s no money to be made, he basically punted.

    only speculation, naturally, but no more fantastic than his own analysis, which is strictly spec in nature and contains nothing new or newsworthy at all (sorry, the ponytail does not qualify imho).

    i suggest P/G film be marked as “Possible Exhibit A” and that the entire Cryptomundo world move on. after all, no footage however convincing will ever be completely free from JFK Grassy Knoll-itis.

    that is, in a film, you will see what you wish to see, not what is objectively present, as there is no present, only a filmed illusion of a reality. this goes along with what Loren correctly posted re: NANOOK OF THE NORTH and other ‘non-objectivity’ in filmed documentary footage, even if it APPEARS as ‘reality’ to some viewers. film is a manipulative medium at best unless subjected to the most rigorous of analysis DURING its production by valid, non-suspect scientists, on hand and during filming, who are reliable and not tied to any agenda, one way or the other.

    what we need to be concentrating upon as cryptomundoians (sorry, but you know!) is providing convincing, non-engineerable evidence. to wit: DNA with sequences that prove non-homo sapien manipulation, can be tested without doubt by a variety of worldwide experts and scientists under a variety of repeatable conditions, etc.

    mundane? perhaps. but anything less than DNA and/or a body part/corpse/living specimen will ALWAYS be in doubt. whereas, with DNA? if it will free rapists after decades in prison who were convicted? and convict serial killers who committed crimes by hairs or blood samples left behind? it’ll work to convince most skeptics re: Bigfoot’s existence.

    this is NOT, btw, an unreasonable standard for any serious, scientifically-based inquiry. it’s not about how “impossible” it is to prove a species, after all, but proving it with indisputable evidence.

    of course, there will always be those who argue we didn’t go to the moon, all NASA footage is faked, etc. but the overwhelming evidence is so non-debatable re: moon landings beyond a certain logical plateau that to do so puts one in the uber minority to say it is all a conspiracy.

    do we as crypto researchers want to remain in such an illusory category of easy dismissal? by arguing re: P/G footage as prima facie evidence?

    i think not.

    so let’s be creative about finding new evidence, not spend our time debating the P/G film footage. unless a new standard of time travel becomes reliable, whatever did or did not happen in 1967 that day Patterson rolled footage will never be known.

    and if we can time travel back?

    then we can simply capture and release a bigfoot once we have a few DNA samples, detailed forensic-styled photographs, etc. and btw, i do advocate capture and release not just for the old fishin’ hole, but a clearly endangered species like a Sasquatch!

    but as time travel is still probably a few months away… 😉

    seriously, we need evidence, not theories. theory is wonderful and necessary. but what it is not is evidence. the two go together like night an day… one follows the other to make a complete, verifiable reality known as a 24 hour period.

  4. John L. Johnsen responds:

    I have to take exception to the views expressed above. Film is NOT an manipulative medium…it is a truthful medium that can, in some instances, be manipulated. In late 2007, after working the better part of a year with Davis, he and I released “Spotlight on the Patterson Gimlin Film: the M.K. Davis Theory”. It approached his (Davis’s) then new theory of the humanity of the Patterson film subject in stages. First it explained the truth about the properties of film in general, and of the film and camera used by Patterson to make the footage. It explained in detail how film speed, granularity, shutter speed, camera shake and other variables affected the images produced. Then it (the film) went on to explain Davis’s methods of computer enhancement to bring details to the forefront. The methods he used were exactly those used in astrophotography to better see telescope images, including those obtained by the Hubble. Davis is an amateur astronomer who built his own 17 inch reflector. He is a brilliant individual.

    Then the film showed bits and pieces of the Patterson footage pertinent to Davis’s theory as extracted using his computer skills. The results ranged from the mundane to the astounding, in my opinion. There are things I would not have included in the content but as a joint project it was not my say so alone.

    Sales were poor, but that was not the object of the film. It was, from my standpoint, to express the evidence in a format that was not subject to bad internet connections, faulty or cheap monitors or other aspects of web distribution. The DVD format leveled the playing field in that respect, giving viewers a similarly detailed view.

    As a working freelance photographer and videographer I learned very quickly that I did not like film. Film was easily damaged and an incompetent lab tech could put you out of business overnight. I jumped to digital as soon as I had an opportunity to do so. There is NOTHING that digital processing or enhancement can do to film that a good lab tech couldn’t do with masking, special processes, specialty papers, etc. Photoshop and its peers only make the processes more accessible and somewhat easier to accomplish.

    Davis is an honest, hard working individual whose only agenda is getting at the truth as shown in those 900 some odd frames. His latest efforts have uncovered yet more info of a darker nature which cannot be discussed in the open until more study has taken place and any results triple verified, period. His mention of this to the wrong person has resulted in the firestorm we see here. It virtually mimics the storm created by mostly arm chair researchers who felt threatened somehow by the human theory. Now, because it seems that, yet again, he has uncovered something that no one else did, his credibility is once again on the line.

    “Spotlight on the Patterson Gimlin Film” is not presently in release, pending the inclusion of this newly found evidence. However, I would not count on it being re-released as I feel that M.K. will soon wash his hands of this matter as he nearly did back in November of 2006. So, to the people who have been doing all the hounding and criticism I say, “Well done.” You got exactly what you wanted.

  5. Bake Neko responds:

    Tooshay CryptoHaus. Well said.

  6. Lee Murphy responds:

    Well, as far as I’m concerned the only real value the P/G film has (provided it is authentic), is it shows us what they look like. It offers nothing in the way of species identification, lifestyle, etc.

    The reason I feel the need to chime in here is, I don’t know anything about whatever deals may or may not have been struck, or who leaked what, or was it just for publicity, etc. But I first met MK Davis back at the 2003 (?) Texas Bigfoot Conference and found him to be a very kind, intelligent person. In the years since then he has helped me with various information and knowledge and has been quite generous. I personally have been extremely impressed with much of what he has gleaned from this film through the years and I think he has done a great service to the field in general because of it.

    I know because of things Like Johor and the Carter farm we tend to get a little angry when we feel we are being “strung-along”, but I don’t believe that is the case with MK. I like him very much and will always consider him a friend. I hope others will extend him that courtesy.

  7. CamperGuy responds:

    ummmmm……..if the qualificatin for being human is a ponytail then it follows horses are human…….. 🙂 Pardon my humor.
    The point is a ponytail does not prove humanity.

    If there was a ponytail it would be very interesting and lead to lively discussion.

    The ponytail has not been proven nor the conclusion.

    I do not know Mr. Davis and will not cast negative aspersions to his character. He may be very sincere and very honest. He should be aware his subjective conjecture does invite criticism though.

  8. thatericn responds:

    A question:

    The photo above, with the enlarged Patty image SURE looks altered. I hope I’m correct, because THAT image looks rather manufactured…

  9. MountDesertIslander responds:


    I thought the same thing when I took a close look at the picture behind Mr. Davis. I compared the photo with a capture I have on my computer of the P/G film. All I can say is the difference in detail is substantial. The facial features, especially the mouth and brow line look a bit more than enhanced. the nicest touch was the perky nipple that has appeared on new “enhanced” image. I’d like to hear an explanation of how this detail was extracted from the original.

  10. sschaper responds:

    Mr. Johnson, are you saying, then, that he used image-stacking? In amateur astronomy, you take many short duration digital images and then stack them. With the Patterson film, you would almost have to stack the same image over and over. That would help improve contrast, but it won’t add usable details the way image stacking of many images of the same (non-shifting) objects. In astronomy, that is sometimes callled “super-resolution” first notably used on Viking images of Gusev Crater, now done by amateurs all the time. One linux package is called Ale. Photoshop can also do this. But with the image in the Paterson film shifting aspect in each frame, would that work? Wouldn’t you have to stack the same image over and over? That won’t give you more information, though it will enhance the observability of the information present in the one frame.

    Any others here who know of this tool who can comment?

  11. SOCALcryptid responds:

    I too must question the enhancements in the picture above. There is more detail in the face and breasts but none on the hands. Is there a reason for this?

    I also must question the ponytail theory. I still do not see it. Is there a picture of this that shows it? If so, why not show the picture along with this theory? This ponytail could after all just be a dread-lock.

    I feel that these are good questions to ask in my search for the truth. I am in no way trying to take M.K’s credibility away from him. That said, I just want to see solid evidence that does not lead to more questioning about a ponytail etc.

  12. jayman responds:

    I was there, and I have to say I am doubtful of the film being able to show detail at the level Davis claims to see. The grain of the film puts an absolute limit on the resolution, and from what I have heard about the PG film this would be about 2 inches on the film subject (“Patty”) even working from the original film, which Davis does not have. So 2 inches would be roughly the size of her nose, nothing smaller, like hair braids or teeth or nipples, could be seen even in principle. When the image is enlarged past the resolution limit spurious artifacts start to pop out.

  13. MattBille responds:

    I have waited in vain for someone to clarify the whole “Patty is a human” thing. A modern human in a suit, or a prehistoric human that looks like nothing yet known from our family tree (in which case, how do you say “human” instead of “ape?”) ?

  14. PhotoExpert responds:

    Wow! Amazing! (sarcastic tone) I waited two years for that? My comedic robotic theory holds just as much weight as this observation. I predicted this lecture and outcome in previous posts. It was just as I suspected. (Yawn)

    Jayman, you are correct!

  15. DWA responds:

    redacted by Cryptomundo:

    You can take exception to the views above, but that doesn’t change their validity.

    Davis may be a prince of a guy; I don’t know him. But when we start talking about digging sticks and ponytails and Homo-ness that haven’t been seen in this film in 40 years (and I got an issue with suddenly seeing “Homo” in a film; you can’t prove that and really have no business saying that), some of *us* need to start taking exception. When you say “Film is NOT an manipulative medium…it is a truthful medium that can, in some instances, be manipulated,” well, there’s really no substantive difference between the two if the film got manipulated, is there?

    Davis may indeed be “brilliant.” And in stabilizing the film, he’s made it more accessible, and this can only be to the good. But some of his “revelations” seem to be tossing caution to the wind. It does indeed sound like the kind of stuff that keeps serious science away from the sasquatch. And unless you don’t want it confirmed – and I admit it might be at best a mixed blessing for an animal that may suffer from the attention – this isn’t helping your cause. It’s sure not helping the cause of research.

    I have long said that the skeptical shibboleth that this thing is all blurry and you can’t make heads or tails out of it is a crock. Davis may be a substantial reason why I think that; his stabilization doesn’t appear to have added anything but stability while taking nothing away. ‘Course that’s just my amateur’s view. But it is NOT so crystal clear that the stuff Davis is “seeing” in it should be the kind of stuff that would jump out, for the first time, after 40 years. “Ponytail” sounds too much like the alleged “zipper” to me.

    And I think it may be because it is.

  16. greenmartian2007 responds:

    I read some of the commentary above, and I felt I must step in and say something.

    I have worked with film–both the 35 mm kind, the land camera kind and with the motion picture kind (both super 8, and 16 mm) as part of the work involved in industrial engineering and chemical analysis.

    I am going to say this. The moment ANYONE sets up a camera–whether still or motion picture–you are already “altering reality.” Period. The moment you look through the viewfinder you are “altering reality.” And bear in mind that the field of view of a camera is not the same as the field of view of a human being, standing there gawking.

    Also, where one plants oneself in an environment to view something also “alters reality.” If one views a creature walking in front of them (as in the medium shot of the P/G film), that view will not produce the same information transmit as someone viewing the same animal from behind, or directly in front, or from above (as in a tree stand), or from 300 yards away, or from 2 feet away. Or if holding its hand as it walks.

    This is as plain as I can make this.

    So this claptrap about film not altering reality. Sorry, it does. Most of the time, this “altering” doesn’t have much of an impact on the results one wants. But there are times when it has significant impact–like in forensics, for example. Or even wedding picture snaps. Or industrial process photography. And the list can go on and on.

    The grouping that says that the P/G film is “real” (as in, it is a filmed depiction of an authentic Sasquatch sighting) better step up to the plate and use definitions that aren’t distorted to suit their purposes. It not only distorts any discussion, it also set back any research. There has to be common agreed-to procedures and definitions.

    Like I said in another thread, the one still out of Christopher Murphy’s book of 2006 puts proof the film is not of a real Sasquatch. One still, one lack of buttocks conformation with the upper back leg. And there you have it.

    I will not make further comment in this thread. I consider it an affront to scientific method to keep seeing this kind of BS.

    You want to prove that Sasquatch exists? Then go out and look for one. Track one down. Stop attempting to prove it with a film clip that is of great questionable veracity (not in who filmed it, but in what it has filmed).

    The creatures I have no doubt exist. But you have to go look for it. There are also other videotape (say the one from 1994 at the end of “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science”) that is of greater import.

  17. airforce47 responds:

    I wish to address 3 issues raised by the prior writers.

    1. Marlon’s hypothesis/theory is just that. He believes he sees something in his enhancements which we may not see. Since he has the technical background to support what he does I won’t argue the point with him. He sees it and I may not. No biggie.

    2. The prior writers agreed with me that only a body or a DNA finding will get the species officially listed in the taxonomical charts. Photography can be useful to help convince the skeptics that the species exists but won’t stand alone as total evidence.

    3. Given the current DNA evidence and repeated findings of “primate in origin but species unknown” there’s a far greater chance of Marlon being right or at the least partially right than of being wrong.

    I’ll wait for the evidence and continue our research in the Sierras. In the meantime I’ll give Marlon far more leeway without criticism than I will Dr Krantz’s “fringe elements”. My best to all,

    Larry Lesh

  18. Roger Knights responds:

    Greenmartian2007 wrote:

    “Like I said in another thread, the one still out of Christopher Murphy’s book of 2006 puts proof the film is not of a real Sasquatch. One still, one lack of buttocks conformation with the upper back leg. And there you have it.”

    The butt-blockiness visible in frame 339 is due to Patty’s huge left hand emerging just a little bit from behind the torso on its swing back. In frame 340 it swings further back and the blockiness increases, but it becomes obvious that it is the hand that is the cause.

    (I captured frame 340–and subsequent frames–off BFF when it was posted briefly there. It’s from the Rick Noll digitization. I don’t know where else this frame might be available. Maybe Rick would post it.)

    In subsequent frames the hand pauses in its backswing and then swings forward, and by frame 344 things are back to normal.

  19. cryptidsrus responds:

    Great discussion here.

    I, too, do not see a ponytail.

    Davis is a great guy, but he “doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Still good to see back-and-forth discussion.

  20. Tamarack responds:

    Just another opinion, but it seems to me that the skeptics and critics of the Patterson/Gimlin film have indeed set the “proof” bar exceedingly high.

    If this film had been one man attacking another and committing a crime it would have been sufficient enough to convict the subject. Bank robbers and convenience store robbers have been convicted on less clear pictures. Of course sometimes these are linked with eye witnesses, but the Patterson/Gimlin film also has eye witness testimony. But once again the skeptics and critics have refined their arguments as to why eye witness testimony in this situation is not reliable.

    After all of this, it is simply too bad that those who believe that they have found some kind of proof of the existence of Bigfoot don’t get all of their ducks in a row before making any kind of announcement whatsoever.

    Now what has happened to the “large frame” copies of the original film that show much greater detail? Are they now lost forever in some kind of custody or copyright battle?

  21. Judy Green responds:

    The big question for me in all of this is why there are so many up in arms and offended by the statement that the P/G creature might be human? When I look at the film, I see “ape” not relict human, but that is just my opinion. M.K. has every right to his opinion based on his long research. The question for me is IF he has definitive “proof” the film is oa a “human” creature, please let us in on it before I turn to dust!

    Two other questions: One for greenmartian 2007 even though he says he will not be posting to this thread again, what still in Chris Murphys “Meet the Sasquatch” are you referring to and why does it “prove” it is not of a real Sasquatch? Do we know what a Sasquatch buttocks looks like? And for Matt Bille, I agree, has there been confirmation of Sasquatch being human, not ape and how do we know the “neither/nor” theory does not apply here? It may be neither ape nor human, but somewhere in between, a separate species branching off at a seperate time. Why does it HAVE to be human or ape?

  22. Loren Coleman responds:

    Just a reminder: This is not a Bigfoot exchange forum and it is not a personal chat room. Furthermore, this section of the blog is not an unmoderated flame board.

    Comment about the topic of the blog, only.

    No flaming, no personal notes to each other, no name calling, no bios, no weblinks that have nothing to do with the subject of the blog, please.

    Talk about theory or style of writing or presentation components, folks, but please do not flame people, specifically being nasty about the personality of M. K. Davis or the height of Roger Patterson or the intellect of Greg Long, for example.

    Comments off-topic or inappropriate will disappear.

    Why is this note even necessary?

  23. thom_powell responds:

    To all,
    I was fortunate to hear MK Davis make this presentation in Portland OR recently. He showed the audience various enhancements and how he accomplished them. He was able to identify numerous features and elements in the PGF that almost everyone is unaware of.He showed us that there is a great deal of useful and interesting information in that short clip. The short quotation that is taken out of context and published above does not come close to doing justice to the whole subject of enhancing the PGF. Davis provides compelling but admittedly inconclusive film data to support the following conclusions:
    1. the creature shows a number of hair stylings like a top-knot. He concludes it’s not a saggital crest on the subject. It is a top-knot of hair. He shows his detailed analysis that supports this view and it is more compellling than most realize.
    2. There is also evidence of braids and a ponytail in the head hair. These are utilitarian hair styling that are commonly used in modern and ancient tribes to keep hair cleaner and out of the way. On this basis Davis asserts that the PGF subject is closer to a vestigal member of a Native American population, not an ape. This is the essence of the assertion that the film shows a human being.
    3. He presents data that supports the view that the creature is holding a stick, which could be for digging (hence the whole digger-indian thing.)
    4. Most reproductions of the PGF have been darkened in the reporduction process. The closer one gets to the original film, the lighter the creature appears and the thinner the hair appears to be. This shows better views of the body outline beneath the hair/fur. Enhancements Davis performed show the breasts and facial features more plainly and definitely. His enhancements show more ‘humanish’ facial features than the animalistic features that other researchers contend are shown in their respective analyses of available copies of the PGF.

    There are other interesting points about the subject and the surroundings that Davis presented. It is an excellent talk and if you haven’t seen it, you have no accurate basis to judge it. Roger Knights was at the same talk I attended so I submit that Roger’s assesments of the infromation presented are more accurate than most. Hopefully Marlon Davis will publish an monograph so more people can get an informed view of his data and conclusions. Davis is a very skilled technician and his conclusiona are fairly sound.
    A final note:
    Here in the greater Portland area there is a lot of sasquatch activity in the surrounding forests. The patterns that emerge from analysis of dozens if not hundreds of unpublished accounts does, in my view, strongly support the view that at least some of these creatures are intelligent enough to qualify as human, i.e. vestigal Indians. With this body of locally available information in mind, MK Davis’ assertions are really nothing shocking. If anything, his assertions validate something that has been argued by others for a long time: that at least some of these creatures are some form of human.
    Yet, the ‘ape’ paradigm still holds sway elsewhere on the continent and indeed some of these being may indeed be ape, but they probably are not all apes and I think Davis compellingly shows that the one in the PGF is not the ape that Dahinden argued, but the rather intelligent creature that Ivan Sanderson asserts. So, we’re back to the old Danhinden vs. Sanderson debate about the true nature of these creatures. Perhaps they are both correct: The bigfoot phenomenon represents multiple taxonomic grouping, as Colemen has long argued.
    Best to all,
    Thom Powell

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